Jigen Ryu: Origins and the Practice

Jigen Ryu: Origins and the Practice

Jigen Ryu, a traditional Japanese martial art, has a rich history dating back centuries. Its origins are steeped in tradition, with techniques and philosophies passed down through generations. One particularly intriguing aspect of Jigen Ryu is the practice of hitting sticks at high energy, a method that not only builds physical strength but also embodies the essence of discipline and focus.

Jigen Ryu traces its roots to the Sengoku period (1467-1603) in Japan, a time marked by intense warfare and the proliferation of martial arts schools. It was founded by a Samurai named Issai Chozan, who synthesised various combat techniques he learned from different schools into a cohesive system. The name "Jigen Ryu" translates to "school of reality" or "school of actuality," emphasising its practical approach to combat.

At its core, Jigen Ryu emphasises efficient and effective techniques designed for real life combat situations. Its curriculum includes a wide array of techniques encompassing striking, grappling, joint locks, throws, and weapon use. These techniques are practiced rigorously to develop muscle memory, speed, and precision.

One distinctive aspect of Jigen Ryu is its focus on utilising the body's natural mechanics and exploiting an opponent's weaknesses. Techniques often involve redirecting an opponent's energy and using leverage to gain advantage, rather than relying solely on brute strength.

One of the unique training methods within Jigen Ryu is the practice of hitting sticks at high energy. This exercise, known as "Tanrenuchi," involves striking wooden posts or rods with a wooden sword (bokken) or staff (bo) repeatedly and with force. The purpose of this practice is multi faceted:

Physical Conditioning: Tanrenuchi helps develop strength, speed, and endurance in the arms, shoulders, and wrists. The repetitive motion builds muscle power and improves striking technique.

Focus and Concentration: Hitting sticks at high energy requires intense concentration and focus. Practitioners must maintain mindfulness to ensure proper form and accuracy with each strike.

Precision and Control: Tanrenuchi teaches practitioners to control their strength and strikes, aiming for consistent and accurate contact with the target. This precision is essential in combat situations where accuracy can mean the difference between success and failure.

Spiritual Development: Beyond physical conditioning, Tanrenuchi fosters mental discipline and resilience. It encourages practitioners to push past their limits, overcome challenges, and cultivate a strong spirit.

Jigen Ryu is not just a martial art, it's a way of life rooted in tradition, discipline, and self improvement. The practice of hitting sticks at high energy exemplifies the core principles of Jigen Ryu, blending physical conditioning with mental focus and spiritual growth. As practitioners engage in this ancient training method, they not only hone their combat skills but also deepen their understanding of themselves and their art.